FOX 35 gets sneak peek of 'Daytona Rising' project ahead of Coke Zero 400
By John Eble FOX 35 News
The $400 million, two-and-a-half year renovation project on Daytona International Speedway, known as "Daytona Rising," could have 40,000 new seats done by next year's Daytona 500. Track president Joie Chitwood said Wednesday that the new elevated view has been extraordinarily quick.
"In four months, it seems like we did triple the work we did the first seven months," said Chitwood. "It's amazing we got the infrastructure in the ground and all the concrete. The steel has been going up like gangbusters."
Although a third of the project will be ready by next year, completion of the entire renovation is on schedule to done for the opening of the 2016 Great American Race.
Chitwood also said that the grandstands located on the backstretch of the track are coming down. According to the track president, he does not want fans to have an "inferior" experience over there while people are having an "incredible" experience in the newly constructed grandstands.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Darrell Wallace, Jr. joined media and track staff for a hard hat tour ahead of this weekend's Sprint Cup Series race, the Coke Zero 400. Wallace will be competing in the Nationwide series race, the Subway Firecracker 250, with Joe Gibbs Racing. Wallace was very impressed with the appearance of the new renovations and the new view that the new grandstands provide.
"This is an awesome view up here to see," said Wallace, Jr. "For me, it's different. I don't get to see what the fans see up here from their perspective and [the] new perspective up here is a lot of fun to experience."
Some of the improvements to go along with the improved grandstand include new 20-inch wide seats and food and refreshment areas under the stands that resemble cavernous neighborhoods.
Race fans can follow the progress of the DAYTONA Rising project by visiting www.DAYTONARising.com. Also, fans can see the construction project up close by taking one of the daily tours available at the Speedway on non-event days throughout the year. For information on tours, Visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/tours.